EUREKA, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Emily Almiron and Gabriel will be coming home.
Four years after they disappeared from an Orem home, their bodies were found in a shallow grave near Eureka.
All this after their killer, Almiron’s ex-boyfriend confessed to the crime. As part of his plea bargain, Christopher Poulson agreed to show authorities where he buried their bodies. The plea deal also spared him from the death penalty.
Saturday, Nick Castleton, Eureka’s mayor was on his ATV scouting for trails when he came across several vehicles in a remote area south of Eureka.
“One of the trucks said FBI,” Castleton said. “I didn’t get any closer.”
But he returned later that night after law enforcement vacated the scene.
“That’s when I saw, this is where they were centered and I saw the hole here,” Castleton said.
He was pointing at a hole about three-feet long and about two-feet deep.
“It was pretty obvious that there was a body dumped in a grave,” Castleton said.
He said the gravesite would not have been easy to spot from a dirt road that is about 20 yards away.
“The odds of anybody seeing anything would have been pretty slim,” he said. “They’ve cut the sagebrush here and here. These were big sagebrush all through here and there were branches on the tree that came in this direction.”
Sunday, he learned from authorities that the remains were those of Emily Almiron and her young son Gabriel.
In 2015 they disappeared. Poulson who was living with Almiron said he kicked her out of the house because of her drug use. Orem detectives continued looking at the trail Poulson took on the day Almiron and Gabriel disappeared. They became suspicious when his credit card was used at a store where he purchased a shovel, rope and other suspicious items.
Almiron’s car was found in St. George and detectives pieced together information that put Poulson in St. George at the same time.
Despite the lack of bodies, prosecutors in Utah County charged Poulson with aggravated murder.
Before his trial, he confessed. For nearly a month, authorities along with Poulson searched for the gravesite in Juab County. But a spokesman for law enforcement said the area was too vast and Poulson couldn’t quite remember the location. Saturday, the mystery was over.
Erika Calvin and her son were close friends with Almiron and Gabriel. She said the bonded because both were single parents and considered moving in together to cut down on costs.
Calvin said she wasn’t surprised to learn that Poulson physically abused Gabriel because she had confronted him before about bruises on Gabriel.
“He just told me that he was being bullied at school,” Calvin said.
But she didn’t believe him. For four years, she wondered if her friend and son would ever be found. But on the four-year anniversary of their murder and disappearance, she learned the had been found.
“I think her being home is what she wanted,” said Calvin. “More than anything, (it’s important she) be home with her family and her friends.”
As for Castleton, finding bodies in remote areas near Eureka doesn’t surprise him anymore.
In 2018, the bodies of Riley Powell and Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson were found in an abandoned mine near Eureka. Jerrod Baum was charged with their murders.
And the search for Susan Cox Powell also led authorities to Topaz Mountain in Juab County. She was presumed murdered by her husband in 2009. Before committing suicide Josh Powell murdered their two sons. Cox-Powell’s body has never been found.
“It’s sad that people can’t figure how to get along not to go to this type of extreme violence,” said Castleton.
Meanwhile, Poulson remains in the Utah County jail awaiting sentencing on September 26.